Third contempt citation sought in case
January 27, 2021
Receiver uncovers more antics among those close to solar tax fraud
A federal court was asked at the end of last year to weigh new civil contempt sanctions in the still-unfolding RaPower3 solar tax fraud case.
Wayne Klein, the court-appointed receiver in the federal court case, filed a motion at the end of December asking a judge to order three people, including Glenda Johnson, wife of Neldon Johnson, the man at the center of the fraud scheme, to show why they shouldn’t be punished for continuing to violate the court’s receivership order. Glenda Johnson has already been held in civil contempt twice before in the case, including for filing a $9 million mechanic’s lien against a 75-acre property in Millard County that had already been sold at auction. The two other people Klein said should be sanctioned this time are Roger Hamblin and attorney Preston Olsen, who Klein alleges conspired with Glenda Johnson to place illegitimate encumbrances on property controlled by the receiver, including a parcel in Utah County and another in Texas.
Klein is disposing of hundreds of acres of Millard County property, some of which was once titled under Glenda Johnson’s name or which were purchased with the ill-gotten proceeds of the massive, $50 million solar tax fraud scheme.
“Their obstruction has caused significant damage to the Receivership as the Receiver has been forced to expend Receivership resources to investigate, report, and move to invalidate three separate liens filed on Receivership Property,” by the named individuals, Klein wrote in his court motion.
An investigative report also filed with the federal court by Klein at the end of December unspools a convoluted effort by the trio.
It started in October 2019. Glenda and her husband contacted Olsen about possibly transferring contracts and intellectual property supposedly owned by Glenda into a new entity. The couple supposedly told Olsen that Glenda’s technology and contracts were not part of the receivership estate and therefore were transferable. At one point in the long RaPower3 case, Glenda Johnson offered that she was owed $35 million by one of the various shell companies built around the fraud. Olsen told Klein during a deposition last year that he believed the interests owned by Glenda were worth “hundreds of millions of dollars.”
Eventually Olsen was asked by Glenda and her husband to form another company, this one called Anstram Energy, which was registered on Nov. 25, 2019 in Nevis, an island in the Caribbean.
The company had no employees, no cash flow, owned no real estate, and, except for Glenda Johnson’s supposed intellectual property, had no experience in energy whatsoever.
Once she supposedly transferred her rights to Anstram, then it became Anstram who owned liens she later filed.
“In exchange for Glenda Johnson’s transfer of her rights to Anstram, Anstram was to develop solar projects and later transfer those solar projects to her,” the investigative report filed with the court states. “Olsen paid Glenda Johnson nothing for the contract rights and technology at the time Anstram was formed and the rights were acquired, but Anstram was obligated to provide Glenda Johnson with energy projects worth approximately $50 million, after the energy projects were developed.”
Glenda Johnson created and signed her own employment contract—Olsen was never given a copy. She also created and signed her intellectual property rights assignment to Anstram—a copy of which Olsen also forgot to acquire.
“The Assignment Agreement was basic, stating that Glenda Johnson assigned rights to Anstram and obligating Anstram to pay Glenda Johnson $50 million worth of completed projects, including conveying technology back to Glenda Johnson,” Klein’s investigation found. “The agreement contained no description of what development was going to be done, by whom, or when. It did not specify that Glenda Johnson had any rights to get information about Anstram’s progress, contained no benchmarks to measure Anstram’s progress, and imposed no deadlines for performance.”
Also, the receiver noted, he never received any copies of the supposed agreements either.
A month after Anstram was created, Glenda Johnson filed $30 million in new liens on 15 parcels of property in Millard County. Eleven of the properties were already set to be assigned to the receivership estate by the federal court. Another four parcels were the subject of litigation between the receiver and Glenda Johnson.
Anstram’s lien against the properties was the result of Glenda Johnson assigning her rights to the Nevis-based entity.
“Olsen’s understanding was that Glenda Johnson had not been paid for work she supposedly was owed for construction of solar towers and the lien filing was ‘necessary to secure those amounts that were still owing,’” the investigative report recounts. “When he signed the liens on December 18, 2019, Olsen expected that Glenda Johnson would attach, as exhibits to the liens, information about only those properties where towers were constructed or work had been performed.”
When asked specifically whether he was aware of any solar tower construction on any of the 15 parcels, Olsen agreed he was not sure. Further, he admitted it would be improper to file liens on property where no work had been done. A separate lien on a home in Payson, ostensibly the Johnsons’ family home, was also filed by Anstram, with Olsen also signing that lien. Olsen later told Klein he believed there were no solar towers on that property either, which would have made any lien improper on its face.
And yet, in January 2020, Olsen signed another lien, this time one for $10 million, on property in Texas.
“Like the Millard County Lien and the Utah County Lien, the Texas Lien was granted to Anstram, was signed by Olsen, was based on contract rights Glenda Johnson assigned to Anstram, and asserted the Receiver was acting improperly by seeking control of this property,” Klein wrote.
The Texas lien was filed after the receiver had already taken possession of the property and was one more instance where Glenda Johnson violated the court’s orders, Klein wrote.
In February 2020, Glenda Johnson sued the new owner of the 75-acre parcel in Millard County purchased at auction, the old tower site near Hinckley. Glenda Johnson was seeking $9 million in the lawsuit for labor and materials. It’s at this time the receiver filed a new non-compliance grievance against Glenda Johnson in federal court, which eventually led to her second civil contempt citation and an order from the judge to dismiss the lawsuit against the new owner of the solar tower property as well as any other liens, or face jail time.
Glenda Johnson complied with the order and dismissed her lawsuit—the new owner of the solar tower property, however, asked a local court for damages from the filing of a false lien and was awarded an $18 million judgment as a result, something Glenda Johnson is fighting.
Meanwhile, also in February 2020, Glenda Johnson forced Olsen to relinquish ownership of Anstram.
It was then the company was transferred to Roger Hamblin’s ownership.
“Olsen said he had no communications with Hamblin regarding the transfer. Olsen did not meet with Hamblin or tell Hamblin about the underlying agreement to give $50 million worth of projects to Glenda Johnson, about Glenda Johnson’s employment agreement, or about the liens,” Kleins investigative report states. “Olsen testified that any information Hamblin had regarding Anstram would have come from Glenda Johnson, not Olsen.”
Hamblin bought the company for $10 without knowing anything about its structure, never having visited Nevis, never received a copy of its articles of incorporation, did not know much about the liens it supposedly owned and had no clear idea what exactly were the intellectual property rights granted the company, Klein found.
When Glenda Johnson was finally ordered in May 2020 to dismiss her lawsuit involving the solar tower property in Millard County and remove any liens, she promptly dismissed the lawsuit but told the federal court she was unable to release any liens since those were now owned by Anstram.
In June 2020, Anstram told the court it refused to release the liens. In fact, four days after a federal judge ordered Glenda Johnson to demonstrate her inability to release the liens she had placed, Anstram sued her in court, in what Klein calls a “friendly lawsuit.”
Klein could not get a straight answer about who actually wrote out Anstram’s complaint against Glenda Johnson—Hamblin invoked his Fifth Amendment protection multiple times during his deposition. It finally became apparent, Klein found, that it was most likely Glenda Johnson who wrote the complaint against…herself.
The lawsuit eventually was dismissed. The liens falsely placed were eventually released. The receiver has continued to take possession of property and set those for auction. And now he is seeking new sanctions on Glenda Johnson as well as on Olsen and Hamblin for the charade they orchestrated last year, which included numerous false statements and mischaracterizations made to multiple courts, including the local district court, Klein alleges.
Klein says Glenda Johnson and her two cohorts should be forced to pay legal and receivership expenses related to Klein’s investigation and be held in contempt among other sanctions.
“The collusive conduct of Glenda Johnson, Olsen, and Hamblin are clear violations of valid orders from the Court. Violations of those orders should have consequences. The Court has twice previously held Glenda Johnson in civil contempt,” Klein wrote.
The federal judge overseeing the RaPower3 case has yet to rule on the matter.
The original article is here.